Fulcrum’s Racing 5 and Racing 7 wheelsets have gone on a diet for model year 2014, shedding 115g and 91g from their respective claimed weights.
We got a sneak peek at the new wheels at Fulcrum’s UK distributor, i-ride. Both the Racing 5 and Racing 7 are entry-level, handbuilt wheelsets popular with riders upgrading the stock wheels supplied as part of a complete bike, or to use as reliable training hoops, thanks to their low cost and sturdy construction.
Weight, therefore, is less of a concern, however Fulcrum have introduced a new asymmetric rim profile on the rear wheel of both the Racing 5 and Racing 7 which they say has allowed them to drop the weight and boost the reactivity of the wheels (by four per cent on the Racing 5 and two per cent on the Racing 7) without impacting on strength or stiffness. That asymmetric profile increases the maximum depth of the rear rim from 24.3mm to 27.5mm.
The spoke count has also been reduced on both wheelsets, with the 2014 wheels now featuring 18 spokes laced radially at the front and 20 at the rear, laced in a two-cross pattern on the driveside and radially non-driveside.
As a result of those changes, claimed weight is now 1,645g with a Campagnolo freehub and 1,690g with a Shimano/SRAM freehub for the Racing 5 wheelset, down from 1,760g and 1,805g respectively. The Racing 5 wheels have bladed stainless steel spokes, and red anodized and oversized aluminium nipples.
And the Racing 7 wheelset now weighs a claimed 1,760g with a Campagnolo freehub and 1,805g with a Shimano/SRAM freehub, dropped from 1,849g and 1,894g respectively. The Racing 5 wheels have round stainless steel spokes and nickel-plated brass nipples.
CX versions of both wheelsets will continue to be offered, with a double-seal on the hubs designed to keep them free of water and mud.
As for the price, the Racing 5 wheelset will retail at £229.99 for both the standard and CX hoops, while the Racing 7 wheelset will cost £169.99 for the standard wheels and £179.99 for the CX version.
Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR wheelset introduced
Meanwhile, Fulcrum have extended their range of high-end, full carbon wheels with the introduction of the Racing Speed XLR 35 tubular wheelset.
Fulcrum is a subsidiary of Campagnolo and these wheels are essentially Fulcrum’s version of the Bora 35 wheelset unveiled in May. They’re the same wheels, bar the decals, but allow riders who use Shimano or SRAM components to benefit from the same technology but without mismatching brands. You can read our first ride report on the Bora 35 wheels here.
So, to recap, the Bora 35, or the Racing Speed XLR 35 in this case, is a super-light, aero wheelset with a claimed weight of just 1,230g with a Campagnolo freehub body, or 1,275g with a Shimano/SRAM freehub.
The 35mm-deep, full-carbon wheelset is designed to be aero on the flat, light enough to climb and stiff enough to sprint – Fulcrum call it the “perfect do-it all performance wheel”.
Key features include a new carbon layup to allow for a low rim profile and weight while maintaining stiffness, and a revised braking surface. Fulcrum have used diamond-tipped machinery to scrape off the resin and expose the raw carbon fibre to produce a smooth braking surface which they say result in powerful and consistent braking when used with Fulcrum’s carbon-specific brake pads.
The wheels have carbon fibre hubs and CULT ceramic bearings, while a separate version, the Racing Speed 35, will come with aluminium hubs, standard bearings and 30g added to the claimed weight.
Retail price has been set at £2,249.99 for the Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR 35 wheelset and £1,699.99 for the Racing Speed 35 wheelset.